An exceptionally rare white marble figure of a turtle, Shang dynasty | 商 大理石龜
What is guaranteed?
An exceptionally rare white marble figure of a turtle
Length 3 in., 8 cm
There are minor chips and losses to the underside and other small chips and surface wear. Otherwise good condition.
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In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
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Collection of Dr Wou Kiuan (1910-1997).
Wou Lien-Pai Museum, coll. no. E.3.14.
吳權博士 (1910-1997) 收藏
Shang dynasty marble carvings are extremely rare, much more so than other ritual works of art and vessels created from bronze, jade, bone or ivory. Other recorded examples of Shang marble include a small group of animal carvings in the collection of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, which were excavated from tomb 1500 at Xibeigang, Anyang, and a carving of a cicada recovered from the tomb of Fu Hao in 1976.
There are other surviving examples in museums, including a water buffalo, a fish and a bear in the Smithsonian Museum, but no other turtle appears to be recorded. Only a very small number of Shang marble figures has been recorded in private collections, including a marble buffalo in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Sedgwick, London, illustrated in the Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, 1935, Royal Academy of Arts, London, cat. no. 268A, and a frog included in the collection of Richard Bull, sold in these rooms, 6th December 1983, lot 244.